MANILA, Philippines — President Rodrigo Duterte on Wednesday admitted that he was hurt by what resigned Dangerous Drugs Board (DDB) chairman Dionisio Santiago did before he told him to quit his post.
The chief executive said he was expecting Dionisio to go straight to him and not to the media if he thought there was something that needed to be fixed in the government. However, the DDB chief did the opposite when he publicly criticized the construction of a mega drug rehabilitation center in Nueva Ecija.
“I was offended. He could have asked me for an audience and tell me all about it,” Duterte told reporters before he departed for Vietnam to attend the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation Summit.
“Kaya kita inilagay diyan not to issue statements to the press. Nilagay kita diyan para magpunta ka sa akin kung ano ang problema sa bayan at tuturuan mo kung nagkulang ako, kung ano ang dapat gawin,” he said.
[I placed you there not to issue statements to the press. I placed you there so that you would go to me and tell me what’s the problem with the country and tell me if what I did was not enough, what should be done.]
“You don’t go open to the press and start to blabber,” the President added.
Dionisio recently quit his post after he was told by Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea that Duterte wanted him to resign, following what he told to the media about the 10,000-bed drug rehab center in Forst Magsaysay, Nueva Ecija that only has less than 500 patients.
“That was a mistake. The President was excited (by the project) but money spent building that could have been spent for smaller community-based rehabilitation centers (that) would accommodate 150 or 200,” said Dionisio.
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